Last week I completed my final chemistry project. This year all of the final chemistry projects were focused on a particular aspect of the Flint Water Crisis. I learned so much from doing this project about both chemistry and the dangers of lead. This project was comprised of several assignments that were either research or lab based, and it culminated in a final project about an assigned topic. These presentations were open to parents, teachers, and other school faculty.
My assigned topic was the health effects of lead. Throughout the research process, I found myself feeling incredibly thankful that my tap water is perfectly safe to drink. I thought that I could have easily been impacted by this crisis if I had lived in Flint. The thing that struck me most about learning about the health impacts is that they were irreversible. The thing that makes me sympathize the most with the victims of lead poisoning is that they did nothing wrong. Many of the victims had no knowledge that the water in their faucets was dangerous. Unlike smokers, who know that smoking causes many deadly diseases, there was no warning that the water might be dangerous until the damage had already been done.
This project has taught me to be aware of things going on around the country even if they don’t have a direct impact on my life. I will continue to be informed about this issue and pay attention to its progression over the summer.